By Our Reporter
Police has busted a racket that includes Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees involved in forging Diplomatic Notes for US Visas.
Diplomatic notes are used for correspondence between the U.S. Government and a foreign government. The Secretary of State corresponds with the diplomatic representatives of foreign governments at Washington, DC, U.S. embassies abroad, and foreign offices or ministries. (ED)
This was revealed by the Police Spokesperson, SCP Fred Enanga in a press statement issued on 12th September 2022. Enanga said the Racket involves rogue Officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Travel Agents and Intermediaries.
“The investigations do show that a number of travel agents, intermediaries in conspiracy with rogue officials, were submitting fraudulent applications for US visas at a cost.” Enanga said.
He revealed further that elements compile profiles with forged work experience, bank documents, birth certificates, police certificates, marriage certificates among others, to help applicants acquire student visas, study visas and resident visas among others.
According to Enanga, investigations being carried out by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in close coordination with the US Embassy in Kampala has led to the arrest of three suspects.
The investigation follows dubious circumstances under which 11 Visa applicants submitted fraudulent documents for US Visas to the Embassy.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The facts gathered so far indicate that two Diplomatic Notes dated 21.06.2022 and 4.07.2022, were issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, using fraudulent or falsified police certificates.
The attached police certificates that are alleged to have been signed by an unknown person on behalf of the Director for Interpol and International Relations, were established to be a forgery.
The Diplomatic Note issued on the 21.06.2022, was signed by a one Opio Innocent, a 1st Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He however, did not give clear reasons for issuing the Diplomatic Note.
The second Diplomatic Note dated 4.07.2022, was signed by a one Wandera Emmanuel, a Foreign Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He claimed that we had signed the document after correcting an error on the original document, allegedly signed by his superior. He however, did not notify him of the changes.
All the 11 applicants were fronted as police officers going for a training course in Washington D.C in the US. Out of the 11 applicants, 10 were established to be civilians, while one police officer, used false information, claiming he was a detective attached to CID Headquarters, yet he was a police driver.
Surprisingly, the Diplomatic Notes were delivered to the US Embassy, by a one Kiwanuka Louise Mary, a courier at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after informally receiving them from an intermediary, known as Odong John Baptist, who is not an employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We are investigating the entire racket for issuing Diplomatic Notes, in total disregard to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as inquiries in utterance of false documents and conspiracy. We have also re-instituted a similar case file, which was opened against Opio Innocent, for issuance of fraudulent Diplomatic Notes in 2017.” Enanga’s statement reads in part.
“Out of the 11 applicants, 3 travelled to the US and are wanted, two were arrested, 3 have their passports pending at the US Embassy and 3 had not submitted their documents.” Enanga revealed.